Monday, October 04, 2004

Beginning To See the Light

In IMF talks, U.S. shifts toward debt-forgiveness pact
With public pledges and in private conversations, Britain managed over the weekend to move the United States closer to full forgiveness of the debts of the poorest countries during the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Before the meetings, the United States privately discussed a more modest plan that had no obvious source of new funding. Throughout the meetings, the stronger American focus was on forgiving the debt of Iraq. But on Sunday, Treasury Secretary John Snow told the gathered officials that the United States was working with Gordon Brown, the British chancellor of the Exchequer, and that it "is time for us to get serious" about the unsustainable debt loads being borne by large parts of the world.

"We're prepared to go to debt forgiveness of up to 100 percent," he told the gathering of world finance ministers and governors of central banks. "What's important is that we all embrace that goal."

It is about time the United States' is reversing itself on Third World debt forgiveness. I wonder what the British officials did to chance the minds of the Americans. Perhaps the British pointed out the contradiction in supporting forgiveness for Iraq while at the same time opposing freeing other poor nations of their odious debts.


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